There were many reasons for the crypto community to eagerly anticipate Bitcoin futures’ introduction to regulated derivatives markets. Futures have long been seen as the first stepping stone on the path to reconciling the world of crypto finance with the system of traditional financial institutions. Existing within a well-defined legal and operational framework, futures contracts offer legitimacy and security that judicious Wall Street firms were waiting for in order to finally jump onto the crypto bandwagon.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, this is far more difficult, if not impossible, to do with cryptocurrency, more than even normal investment vehicles like stocks. I’ve seen people who think that bitcoin has hit a peak and must necessarily stop going up sell, intending to wait until bitcoin falls again to buy in again and make maybe a 20% extra profit, miss out entirely because bitcoin kept going up and never came back down. There are numerous stories of those who bought into bitcoin at $1 or less, but sold well before it ever reached even $10, much less $2500.
Numerous banks and other financial institutions failed across the world, and had to be bailed out by governments at the expense of their taxpayers. This underscored the fragility of the modern financial system, where the health of our monetary system is reliant on banks and other financial institutions that we are forced to trust to make wise and prudent decisions with the money we give them. Too often for comfort, they fail to carry out this fiduciary responsibility to an adequate degree.
Hey, Will, I like this! Thanx for the info. I’m somewhat new to cryptos but not to investing — my Dad invested in the stock market since I was a kid and as an adult I was a registered investment advisor representative for a large US institution. One conclusion I’ve come to is that the skills and approach for crypto investing are no different than those for the stock market. I use the same strategies and analyses I use for stocks and etf’s and feel completely at home in the crypto market. Yes, I deal with more brokerage accounts, etc., but the principles are the same.
Retailer Acceptance – A cryptocurrency isn’t much of use if you can’t purchase anything with it, so before you invest in it, it’s very important to know who and where it was accepted. Some coins are simply built for other purposes and they aren’t designed to be exchanged for goods. Some of the popular cryptocurrencies are widely accepted just like Bitcoin, while some cryptocurrencies can only be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies.
This is an extraordinarily difficult feat to accomplish, however, as the more people there are mining bitcoin, the harder it is to take over the network. At the current worldwide mining rate of almost 5 billion gigahashes a second, it would be extraordinarily difficult for even the most powerful organizations in the world (e.g., large-scale governments) to mount a successful 51% attack. It would be enormously costly, and quite possibly more financially detrimental to the attacker than to the network.
Beyond that, for most people, the best (i.e. simplest) way to invest in bitcoin starts with setting up a cryptocurrency wallet. Some of the better-known sites where you can do this are Coinbase, Bitstamp and Bitfinex, although there are a number of other platforms out there, as well. Once you establish an account, connect it to your payment source — a bank account or a credit or debit card — via two-factor authentication. Of note: It’s important to use a tool like Google Authenticator rather than just relying on text-based authentication, which can be more vulnerable to cybertheft, when investing in bitcoin.
What’s striking in this is that while everything he said at the time was true, and certainly none of those things were particularly possible back in 1995, it all came to pass eventually. Today, remote workers are a huge part of the global workforce. Online education is booming. Amazon is taking over all of commerce and is larger than any retail store in the world. Print newspapers and magazines are dying left and right, replaced by a proliferation of online news.
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Other coins might embrace niche aspects such as entertainment, bill paying, security, and other aspects of decentralization. For example, consider DentaCoin that is the dental world’s first cryptocurrency enhancement. This coin does not vow to be the next Bitcoin; it simply wants to be widely used in the world of dentistry. The coin Ripple wants to be used by banks opposed to competing against them. The coin SunContract eliminates the middleman between providing and purchasing solar energy, which increases what homeowners earn from their solar panels. These kind of niche applications allow various industries to take advantage of the powers of cryptocurrency in very specific areas.
Lower fees: If you take an active trading approach to investing, then it is expected that fees from exchanges will trim your profits. With a long-term investment strategy, all the investor has to do is select a few cryptocurrencies, and then wait. A long-term investor does not trade every day, therefore, they do not have to worry about trading fees.
Even though other transaction coins will definitely grow in value in the next few years, I think that Bitcoin will remain the dominant currency in this segment. While others may be faster, less centralized, or more private, Bitcoin’s incredible first mover advantage and allowance for upgrades makes me continue to place my faith in the reigning monarch of cryptocurrencies.
Monero (10%) – Monero is similar to Bitcoin in that it allows value exchange. However, Monero differs from Bitcoin in that it is focused on providing greater privacy to those that utilize their blockchain, using their stealth address mechanism. Anonymity is likely to become more and more important in a world where Bitcoin addresses can be traced. As more regulation starts entering the cryptocurrency space, an increasing number of individuals will gravitate towards privacy coins such as Monero, Zcash and Dash, that can mask their transaction activities.
Cboe capitalized on their partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange ran by the Winklevoss brothers, and used their experience with tracking crypto assets’ prices to create a tool called Cboe Gemini Bitcoin Futures Index. CME Group created its own price tracking instruments, CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate and CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index, in cooperation with a UK-based firm Crypto Facilities, which has a vast experience with cryptocurrency derivatives.
Steindorff: QTUM is an emerging smart-contract platform with a strong team and promising future. You can think of QTUM as a bitcoin/ethereum hybrid in the sense that the platform enables smart contracts to be built atop bitcoin’s UTXO blockchain. This is an important technological achievement as it enables mobile and IoT compatibility for smart contract backed decentralized applications, a feature not currently available with Ethereum. Mobile compatibility will accelerate the proliferation of smart-contract adoption among businesses while simultaneously broadening its use case as a digital currency via mobile friendly QTUM wallets. Additionally, QTUM has shifted away from the Proof of Work consensus model (Bitcoin/Ethereum) and instead leverages the Proof of Stake model which rewards QTUM token owners for confirming transactions via “staking” instead of “mining.” Without getting into too many details this method is both more environmentally friendly and less prohibitive for individuals to participate than the Proof of Work method. Since launching in early 2017 QTUM has garnered a massive community throughout the Asia-Pacific and the United States. We believe the QTUM team is unrivalled in Asia and their protocol stack has the potential to become the dominant Smart Contract platform of Asia.
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“Blockchain is a system of automated trust,” answered Trevor Welch, Chief Investment Officer at International Blockchain Investments (IBI). “We currently live in a world where some economies lack trust and transparency, others, like the US, apply it manually and with high cost and financial burden as well as a significant degree of human error. As a result any global economy can benefit from processing transactions that are verified and validated on a distributed public ledger.”